Skip to main content

tv   Mc Laughlin Group  PBS  October 6, 2012 12:30pm-1:00pm PDT

12:30 pm
from washington, "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over three decades, the sou hardest talk. governor romney's proposal that he's been promoting for 18 months calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of 2 trillion for our military. and essaying that he is going to pay for it by closing loopholes and deductions. the problem is that he has been asked over 100 times how you would close those deductions and loopholes, and he hasn't been able to identify them. >> i'm not look for a $5
12:31 pm
trillion a tax cut. what i have said is i won't put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. middle-income americans have seen their income come down by $4,300. this is a tax in and of itself. i'll call it the economy tax. it's been crushing. >> question. why did president obama seem thrown off balance? did he underestimate governor romney, pat buchanan? >> he certainly d. governor romney performed better on substance than any candidate in any presidential debate in history. reagan would have beaten him in style in 1980 but on substance i've never seen anybody better prepared than governor romney. he was on of fence. the real question, why did barack obama, the president, do so badly. john, he didn't come prepared for what he found there. he seemed difident, almost disinterested, sour. when they had the two pictures together he was looking down at his notes and the governor was talking to him as if he was
12:32 pm
lecturing him. some say he's lost his enthusiasm for the battle. he looked like he was weary of the job. i think it may have been something to do with him having been out on the road for a year saying the same thing. he didn't seem to be intellectually stimulated. >> do you think he's overstating that? >> i think mitt romney far exceeded expectations. he turned in a bothow performance. i think everybody agrees with that. the president checked out. why he did that i have my own theory. i think he was overcoached, three days in debate camp. i think he was probably told, don't take the bait, don't let this guy get under your skin, be calm, and he overcorrected. and i think when you're president, he talks about all these issues every day. he could have gone in there cold, and he would have brought more passion and authenticity to it than sitting there sort of calculating what he should be saying and shouldn't be saying. actually reminded me of first
12:33 pm
debate of president reagan against walter mondale where reagan's aids had stuffed him full of so many facts and figures that he completely wandered dawn a california highway and lost his train of thought, and the second debate where he joked with mondale, he was himself, i won't take advantage of your youth and inexperience, brought him back. i think the president certainly can come back here. there are two more debates. there's still weeks of campaigning. plus, we had some pretty nice jobs numbers on friday morning with unemployment dipping below 1%, the number of jobs created brought back up over the last couple months so the economy is looking a little better. so i think obama is really lucky that he got a good jobs report to at least somewhat temper what was a very disappointing debate performance. >> romney signed a pledge that he would not make any tax cuts that with add to the deficit. do you think that left noplace for obama to go?
12:34 pm
>> well, i think it certainly was a place for romney to go. what he said and what a lot of people have written about for lang time was to eliminate a lot of the special tax benefits and tax entitlements and special tax treatments across the entire code lower tax rates it seems to me, was a very effective political stand. he articulated extremely well as pat said. it was very sub studentive performance. he said it in a very organized and clear way. i think he was extraordinarily more effective than anybody anticipated, and the president, for whatever reason, was just not in the game. >> why was obama thrown off balance? >> i call it the second-term blahs, john. you've seen this happen with other presidents running for reelection. it's the kind of a job where you're constantly having people, really, you know, yes- men and yes-women surrounding you, and you kind of get out of practice on standing up there
12:35 pm
and telling someone who is telling you to your face that you're ruining the country. obama's conflict of verse -- obama is conflict averse, anyway, when it comes to directly confronting people. he should be well familiar from being out there on the stump. he was giving these elongated answers, complex, compound sentences instead of just saying, mr. romney, you're wrong, and hey's why, just remembering that he's got to reach, what, the 5% of undecided voters who are out there who aren't that familiar with these issues, and the intricacies of the tax code. mitt romney gets criticized for not giving enough details but that worked in his favor on the debate stage because details just kind of get you bogged down. >> he was analytical, and he was toes grasp. >> he was very -- >> even when he was giving falsehoods. >> what falsehoods did he give? >> i didn't hear any falsehoods. >> you didn't hear any because he kept on talking. for example, he said that obama
12:36 pm
doubled the deficit. he didn't. he brought the deficit down. he said that obama -- >> $5 trillion worth of deficits? >> first 1. 2, 5 trillion in th deficit disorder. >> the president said he would cut the deaf set in half. unfortunately he doubled it. trillion dollar deficits for the last four years. the president's put in place as much public debt, almost as much debt held by the public as all prior presidents combined. >> when i walked in the oval office, i had more than a trillion dollar deficit greeting me, and we know where it came from. two wars that were paid for on a credit card, two tax cuts that were not paid for, and a whole bunch of programs that were not paid and then a massive economic crisis. >> question. president obama's gambit has
12:37 pm
been to blame his predecessor bush for his $4 trillion deficit. why didn't that pay off, pat? >> frankly, president bush is an argument that obama has used which has been somewhat effective, that he inherited a very tough situation. >> he knew what he was inheriting. >> but he didn't mention bush's name, but it is true what both men said. public debt is only -- is not $16 trillion. it's about $10 trillion. that's held by the public. obama has doubled it. there have been four straight deficits of over a trillion dollars. there's one scheduled now. and according to the cbo, three more scheduled. >> the american people are not that stupid to think that they're going to lay the whole debt on this president's doorstep because they know what he inherited, plus the bank bailout which is what irritated a lot of people, was begun under the bush administration. so i don't think this is an argument that romney can win. romney -- if romney is going to win, he's got to win on what he is going to do in the future,
12:38 pm
not about how bad obama has been. >> here's what the american people will say. we had the most sometime law active fiscal policy in our history by far, the most sometime law active monetary policy in history and we have not in four years been able to get out of this recession which is still plaguing the country. in part because the stimulus program was badly structured. you've seen that argued by many. >> are you talking about tarp? >> not just tarp. the whole fiscal stimulus was badly structured. >> by whom? >> by this administration. it didn't work. >> what about the fed? >> the fed did whatever they could. we have the lowest monetary levels, the biggest monetary stimulus, the lowest interest rate in our history. >> john, nothing is working. we've also had the bush tax cuts for four years. you've had the huge stimulus package. you've had the monetary policy exploding more than it's ever been. nothing is working. the growth of the economy is slowing. >> does that exonerate obama?
12:39 pm
>> no, it doesn't. >> he knew what he was inheriting. did he know what he was inheriting? >> he's a failed president. he got a bad situation, and he failed. >> why, why, why? >> because there was a major -- >> hear me a second. >> no, no, i want to go to you. >> because the stimulus program in the first year or two should have been larger, not smaller, and it should have been spent not just on supporting labor unions and things of that sort through supporting -- >> wait a minute, let me just finish. you have to invest this money and get adds 2 return for every dollar you spend. he spent the money on things where he only got a dollar return. i was not the only person who commented on it. many, many people did. >> you guys are so eager to bury obama way too soon. >> i was an obama supporter and i was working with him on that. >> did you hear what he said? he was working with obama. >> he has said everything since then to denigrate what the president's policies have done, and the american people basically, again, if you
12:40 pm
believe the polls, believe that he has, for the most part, put in place the right policies that we had a business downturn that was extraordinary because of the greed and the irresponsibility of the 1%, and that the economy is now beginning to come back. it's not coming back, it's working. romney has not made the case that his tax plan, which rewards people at the top is a better alternative going forward. >> the economy the president will inherit in a second term is as bad as the one he inherited from george bush. >> it's getting better. >> it is not getting better, clarence. the growth rate is going down. >> we're on a slow recovery but we are recovering. >> 1% growth? >> hey, you know, the economic conditions now are much worse than they were in the reagan years. we've got a global recession to deal with. we're doing better than europe. there's all kinds of positive signs but there's no way you are going to be able to rush this growth, and romney hasn't shown that he's going to do any better of a job than obama.
12:41 pm
>> something i want to figure out. the exit question, the shadow of bill clinton has been hanging over this presidential campaign since the democratic convention when clinton came to the rescue of obama. has governor romney now dispelled that shadow of clinton, yes or no? >> clinton made an argument that nobody could have done better than obama but mitt romney in that debate suggested, and i think he convinced a lot of people, i can do bert. >> what do you think, eleanor? did he dispel the -- >> romney won on style, but he still has problems with substance. the american people still don't know how his arithmetic is going to come out, and president clinton framed that argument in the best way possible. it's a question of arithmetic and that's still the has romne shadow of clinton? >> yes, i think he has. i think he showed himself to be presidential, really presidential, and he had something that we haven't seen in a long time. a mastery of both the substance and the facts of a case that he was making.
12:42 pm
he did it brilliantly in this debate. >> why don't you go to work for romney since you work for obama? >> i'll see what happens going forward. too early to tell, john. >> really. >> absolutely. i've been a democrat all my life. >> what do you think? >> the first half-hour they talked about romney's tax cut plan which he cobbled together during the primaries, and he denied that it's going to cost $5 trillion over the next few years but it is going to tax the middle class more than the wealthy, according to the tax center, by $2,000 per household. on the clinton question, the clinton question, romney showed, like bill clinton energized the democratic con of earnings romney has energized his base that was about to abandon him, and he's shown that he's a contender. but the more the fact checkers, the more the debate goes on, the more people find -- >> you mean --
12:43 pm
>> why wasn't obama the fact checker? >> do you mean obama is the incumbent? >> i thought i made that clear the first time around. it's not just tin come ben see, though. >> he's the president. >> john, have you forgotten all the problems romney has had for the last few weeks? >> i think part of obama's problem was his coaching and i also think he was leaning too much on his income ben sea instead of getting out there assuming he was on the same level as romney. >> just an advisory board, yes. >> what i support is no change for current retirees and near retirees to medicare, and the president supports taking $716 billion out of that program. i want to take that $716 billion you have cut and put it back into medicare. by the way, we can include a prescription program if we need to improve it but the idea of cutting $716 billion from medicare to be able to balance the additional cost of
12:44 pm
obamacare is, in my opinion, a mistake. >> if you repeal obamacare, and i have become fond of this term, obamacare, if you repeal it, what happens is, those seniors right away are going to be paying $600 more in prescription care, and the primary beneficiary of that repeal are insurance companies that are estimated to gain billions of dollars back when they aren't maaren't making sen healthier, and i don't think that's the right approach. >> question. is at fair rap or a bum rap to charge president obama with cutting $716 billion from medicare? eleanor clift. >> technically, he's right, the president did take $716 billion out of medicare, out of the payments to insurance companies who are creating these medicare advantage plans, and what he used that money for is he put it back into the program. it extends the life of medicare another eight years.
12:45 pm
it also closes the doughnut hole, partially closes the doughnut hole for seniors on prescription drugs, and seniors now get free preventive care. so seniors have actually benefited from this. the insurance companies took a cut, and when romney says he will take that money back, he wants to give it back to the insurance companies. that's not a good deal for seniors. but romney's gift is mixing facts and falsehoods, putting them together in a powerpoint presentation so that the president was left standing there for the most of the time looking pretty flumaxed. he didn't know how to come back against that rapid fire. >> the fact is the governor romney intends to repeal obamacare but i don't think he can do it because the democratic senate -- we're not going to have 60 senators. i think that the point is that obama, that's right, obama could not respond, in the way
12:46 pm
eleanor is responding now, and why couldn't he do it standing up there and defend his own program? >> can we talk about -- hold on, hold on. >> benefits are not going to be hurt. that was the point romney was trying to imply, and it needs to be clarified, as eleanor said, that benefits overall are actually going to improve. >> what about this board that is established by obamacare? you know what aim talking about? >> the one sarah palin called death panels? >> what do you think about that? >> those aren't death panels. this is an oversight board that's going did he side, yes, you can do this, no, you can't do that and what romney said is we want more of the free market in, you want more voices in there, you want more units in there deciding thing, not some al mighty board that doesn't appeal to the american people. >> this board would look at what in business we call best practices. why are appendectomies costing so much. they can make their
12:47 pm
recommendation. it's the kind of data that any businessman would have, and that's sorely needed. >> it's been roundly praised, having a board that looks at best practices because there is so much inefficiency in the system now which is why healthcare is rising faster than any other cost. >> should this board be the one calling the tune and deciding all this? >> let's hear what that calls the shots. >> there are some differences. we didn't raise taxes. you've raised them by a trillion dollars under obamacare. we didn't put in place a board that can tell people ultimately what treatments they are going to 70. we don't need to have a board of 15 people telling wlaws kinds of treatments we should have. >> let me just point out first of all this board that we're talking about can't make decisions about what treatments are given. that's explicitly prohibited in the law. what this is, is a group of healthcare experts, doctors, et cetera, to figure out how can
12:48 pm
we reduce cost of care in the system overall. >> the problem is the board controls the money. and if the doctor chooses to go with a special treatment that the board has not envisioned, they cut off his money. >> don't insurance companies do that right now? >> i don't think so. >> of course. >> if they don't like the treatment, if they think it's too experimental, then the insurance company is not going to pay fort. >> if you need specialized treatment from a specialist and he is not going to stay within the recommendations of the board, which is based on 40,000 -- 40 million different bills that come in. >> just an advisory board, yes. >> the doctor loses its discretion. >> tell my insurance company that. insurance companies all the time deny payments. >> i don't think that's true. >> unless you have -- >> you'll get mail on that. >> unless you have gold-plated
12:49 pm
insurance. actually, the criticism of this board is that it doesn't actually have any teeth. it monitors the overall cost of medicare as it's rising, and if it goes over a certain percentage, they make recommendations to congress, and congress can very well turn down those recommendations. >> what do you think the board should do? do you think it should have -- >> no, i'm saying the board is feign as is. i'm just pointing out there are people who are saying it's too weak while all of you are saying, oh my god. >> this is the way they operate. the panel has data-mine electronic records to determine which treatments produce the best outcomes at the lowest prices. some 40,000 new diagnostic codes will be created. standardized treatment will be applied to all codes in due time. so where does that eve room for the special personal attention of the doctor, which would be i had dee 0 sin crate snake if he has to go in that direction and he has a special
12:50 pm
recommendation, and i've seen cases of that over the experience of several years. >> john -- >> you pull out your checkbook, john, and you pay fort. >> best practices is critical for the organization, the delivery of medical services and the cost of this certified board that is made up of all of the people he wishes to choose? >> i do think we have to have some -- i agree with you, we have to have some way -- >> exit question. on a sha lack question, 0 to 10, 0 meaning 0 shellacking, a bruise-free performance, 10 many ago thorough drubbing, how bad a shellacking did obama take? >> 9.5. >> eleanor. >> 8.5. i must say when i listen to him now apparently explaining these things it's very good, if you could just do those isolated bites and eliminate all the parts where he's looking down and frowning and looking
12:51 pm
pevish. >> also eliminating romney's extraordinary performance. and his reasoning, analytic skills. >> and his grasp of fax. >> and his grasp of facts. >> house of falsehood. >> i think it's similar, 9.5. obama who was boring, he was dull, he seemed to be unengaged. you couldn't do worse at a debate at this level of national politics. >> he didn't see it coming. >> he had to see it coming. >> you think he looked bored? >> he was completely unengaged. >> do you think he looked board? >> he was looking down. >> do you think obama is bored with the job of president? >> i think he doesn't like the trappings of politics. >> you know his intellectual? >> for all the talk about his rhetorical gifts, he's really not a performer, he's basically a professor who likes -- >> he needs a teleprompter. >> eleanor, professors perform.
12:52 pm
>> no, he doesn't need a issue three. getting mean on green. >> in one year, you provided $90s billion in breaks to the green energy world. now, i like green energy as well, but that's about 50 years worth of what oil and gas receives. you put $90s billion, like 50 years worth of breaks into solar and wind, to solyndra and fiskar and inter one. i had a friend who said, you don't just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers knew. the oil industry gets $4 billion a year in corporate welfare. basically they get deductions that those small businesses that governor romney refers to, they don't get. now, does anybody think that exxonmobil needs some extra money when they're making money every time you go to pump? why wouldn't we want to
12:53 pm
eliminate that? >> question. now, the energy issues of campaign 2012 are boiling down into a choice between smoke stacks and pipe dreams. i ask you, pat. >> in a way, yeah, but there's no doubt the president has put this money in solyndra, for example, half a billion dollars went right down the tubes. these other sort of solar and wind pow wore things, a lot of them run by his friends. romney is making a very effective point but we're on an idealogical point, too, oil, gas, coal, hydro. generally the democrats are the ones with wind and solar but that's a taken knee, tiny fraction of the energy that's produced in this country, and you can't run a great nation -- >> that $90s billion was not wind and solar. it included a broad range of energy research, including clean coal which romney supports. >> why didn't obama say that? >> why didn't obama say that? yeah, we have established he
12:54 pm
could have had a better debate, if he had been more, what, up on the sound bites, if you will. and also if he didn't stirt like i do, but the fact is that romney was giving the impression all this money was going to solyndra. it is not. even solyndra isn't that bad but that's a question for another time. >> this country is on the way to energy independence because of fracking, because of the new technologies that enable us to get both natural gas and oil out of shale that we never were able to do before. that is going to change the whole economy of this country and dramatically reduce our dependency on the middle east. it's long overdue. >> wind and solar is like 1% of that 90 billion that romney cited. there was also money there, 3 billion to clean up a nuclear plant. so again, he played with the figures. but the romney that showed up the other night was not the romney we saw on the campaign trail earlier. he suddenly is now a born-again
12:55 pm
moderate talking about the need for regulation in the private market, saying he likes green energy. i hadn't heard that before. he's against the wind credit. a full throated defense of romney care. now he's standing up for his healthcare plan that he developed. so it was finally the etch a sketch moment that his campaign aid promised months ago that they were going to shake everything up. so i think the president is right on the campaign trail saying what is that guy that showed up the other night. >> the guy that beat him. >> you can call him a flip- flopper, but actually the voters like the flop. >> is there something wrong with changing your mind? >> according to the base of the republican party. >> you want idealogues like buchanan? >> i think the republican party wanted. that maybe romney's timing is perfect, that he's now moved to the center without inflaming the right who is so desperate
12:56 pm
to get the white house back. >> have his positions been that extreme? >> yes. >> like what? >> like pro choice to antichoice to pro healthcare to anti-healthcare. >> he made an excellent statement, i thought, of is his principles and beliefs, far better than -- here's where the president could have shown he's got his own philosophy. and romney spoke on the declaration of independence, the principles i believe in, here's what they are. it was excellent. >> he's got a short memory about the republican primary. >> he said those words behind me are from the u.s. constitution. what did he quote? >> declaration of independ hens. life and prediction. who will be ahead on tuesday? >> mr. romney. >> romney closes the gap but behind in state polls. >> romney ahead by one or two points. >> is romney leads. bye-bye!
12:57 pm
12:58 pm
12:59 pm